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Surging coronavirus cases, U.S. stimulus woes drag HK shares lower

* Hang Seng index ends down 0.53% H-shares fall 1.21%; China industrial profit growth slows Hong Kong leg of Ant Group IPO attracts strong demand

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended lower on Tuesday, as global investor sentiment took a hit from surging COVID-19 cases globally and slow progress on a U.S. stimulus deal, even as a record-breaking IPO by Ant Group drew strong demand. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 131.59 points or 0.53% at 24,787.19. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.21% to 10,003.1. ** The dip in Hong Kong shares followed sharp overnight decline in Wall Street. ** Adding to concerns, profit growth at China’s industrial firms slowed from August, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday, as factory-gate deflation and rising raw materials costs undercut a recovery in the manufacturing sector. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 2.2%, the financial sector ended 1.08% lower and the property sector dropped 2.36%. ** However, Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC Holdings PLC were a standout and the top gainer in the Hang Seng, rising 4.81% after the company posted a smaller-than expected slide in pre-tax profit and signalled it would overhaul its business model. ** Ant Group will close institutional order books of the Hong Kong portion of its record-setting dual IPO ahead of schedule due to strong demand, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.1% at 3,254.32 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.17%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.04%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7139 per U.S. dollar at 0812 GMT, 0.03% weaker than the previous close of 6.7118. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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